Allen Litten laments (“Letters,” Nov. 12) that the “real class warfare” in California is between public sector employees and private sector employees, but he buys into the canard that government workers are undeserving of the rewards of their employment (such as a decent wage and a secure retirement). In fact, what’s happened over the past 40 years is that workers in the private sector have seen any semblance of retirement security all but disappear.
Why is this so? It’s certainly not because the government continues to offer employee pensions. No, the sharp divide in the retirement fortunes of public versus private workers can be tied directly to the demise of the private sector labor movement. It’s workers’ lack of bargaining power that allows business to divert the rewards of labor away from employees, directly into the pockets of shareholders and the corporate power structure.
The stock market is at an all-time high. Wealth disparity has soared to levels not seen since the Gilded Age. Homeownership is a fading dream, largely beyond the reach of the middle class. Yet we fault public employees for their small measure of security? I would argue that a rising tide should lift all boats, including those of the workers who build the boats.